In 2021, she was reported to have had an allegedly fake professor qualification. Professor Marianna DM Phutsisi (Motheo TVET, DP SAPCO) landed in hot water after it was found that her Professor title was not legitimate and was labelled as a ‘fake prof’ after it was found that her Professor title was not entirely valid.
Phutsisi was said to have been conferred the title of “honorary professor” by the Academic Union Oxford (AUO). However, after investigating, it was found that the AUO is known for selling fake degrees.

Sunday Times reported that the AUO is owned by Europe Business Assembly (EBA). Here are a few facts about EBA: They are not linked to the prestigious Oxford University. They are an unknown Ukranian-owned enterprise. They are run by a father and son from a house.

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Sources close to the Phutsisi have accused her of allegedly acquiring a R30 million bid of R30 million in 2020 and awarded Student Hub, a Tanzanian company without a fair bid for the tender.
“She is advocating for Student Hub as a SAPCO DP, facilitating marketing and introducing as part of DDG Mandate. Professor Phutsisi appointed Sam Zungu as new principal based on them contracting with The Student HUB since 2020 until 2022,” says the source who wishes to not be named.
“12 colleges have contracted the Student Hub through unsolicited bids and R6 million annually each. Sam Zungu and Phutsisi are beneficiaries of this PFM fraud.”

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Another source say, Phutsisi’s and Zungu have effort are working by intimidating acting-principals or compromised principals to vote for Phutsisi to be SAPCO’ president.

“She wants the contract to go to The Student Hub without going out on public tender. That is not legal and it is unfair for many who wish to bid,” she says.

“They have gone as far as making threats and intimidating principals in order to manipulate votes. This is a sham e for education in South Africa as it means the tender system is corrupted.”